(Misc.) First times

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In gardening and growing plants, there is a lot of waiting and patience needed. From the time when seeds sprout to when a plant say, bears fruits or flowers, it can take months or even years.

It’s something terribly dull and boring.

But then, there are those first times which provide all the excitement in growing plants, all those first times where the ecstatic feeling just overwhelms me and I jump and bounce around and go squeeee.

The first time any seed shows signs of sprouting...it's extremely exciting!

The first time handling any plants which I have no experience with, and it sends out strong roots

The first time a plant flowers

The first time learning to grow a new plant and seeing it grow stronger and more healthily day by day

Of course, that is not to say that subsequent times are boring, that if a plant fruits again and again, each fruiting is not unique.

But, there is that special something in those first times, that special magic in getting to know a plant in its various forms.

To me, that delights me to no end.

Note: This blog will be closed and used as an archive from the third week of July onwards. Please update your links to The Garden I Live In. Thank you.

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(Moving) The Garden I Live In

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I should be moving to The Garden I Live In soon. This is to reflect a more general state I am in as a gardener.

Please update your links. Thank you!

I’ll duplicate posts both here and there for the next month or so, then continue posting there and keep this blog as a resource.

(Misc.) Blog name change poll

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Okays, I’m a person who likes changing her blog and blog name every now and then because I believe names and titles reflect changes within a person himself.

So, I’ve created a poll to see what new names you guys like best.

The first two options are a bit of an inside joke: I created a wolf pup character who loves oranges and gardening. 😛 So…

I believe there’s an option for other suggestions too. I’d appreciate that as well.

Poll is open for a week from now. =) Thanks, all!

(Misc.) Shoutout to Curious Gardener

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Finally, after I don’t know how long after we started talking to each other online through our gardening blogs and stuff, The Curious Gardener and I have finally met!

Was so nice meeting you, CG! =D

(Misc.) Miscellaneous post

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1 I should really rename myself “The Impatient Gardener,” seeing as how I’m extremely impatient in waiting for my plants to do anything. Heh;

2 Dug up two more raspberry suckers. One has roots; the other doesn’t. I’ve placed both in fruiting hydroponics solution and see if it helps them acclimatize or grow (more) roots:

(Misc.) Earth Day Meme

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1. Link back to the person who invited/tagged you, and link back to this post.
I was invited by The Sage Butterfly to do this Earth Day Meme. Shall attempt to complete it best as I can.

2. List at least three books that inspired you to perform any sustainable living act or inspired you to live green, and then tell us why they inspired you. These books do not have to be about green living. Nonfiction and fiction apply.
– The Lord of the Rings
– Finding Sanctuary in Nature (a book on shamanism)
– By Oak, Ash and Thorn (a book on neo-shamanism)
– Wolf Totem (fiction book on a Chinese student living in Mongolia for some time, raising a wolf cub, and learning about the cultures of the Mongolians and about how their lives are intertwined with the wolves’)

3. Select at least three other blogs to invite/tag for the project and post a link to them. Let each of the invitees know they have been tagged by emailing them or posting a comment on their blog and linking them back to this post to get the rules.
Not sure if I’m able to do this since most people are busy, but I shall try.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you have published your Earth Day Reading Project post.

5. All posts must be completed by midnight EDT April 23, 2011. If you are invited/tagged on April 23, 2011, then skip Rule #3 above. If you want, go ahead and do a shout-out to some blogs.

Awesome blogs to check out:
The Sage Butterfly
The Curious Gardener

(Misc.) Evolution of my gardening experiences

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While I was feeding my worms more veggie scraps the other day, I suddenly got to thinking about how vastly different my beliefs and habits with regards to gardening are now, as compared with when I’d just started gardening about three years back.

It made me wonder how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve changed in my methods. So this post is somewhat for me to chronicle what I’ve changed, and what methods I’ve found which actually work.

Choice of plants
When I first started out gardening, I wanted to grow ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, down to the smallest weed if I could. I had great interest in edible plants only, then, and after joining GCS and reading the posts, I was growing anything from mulberries, to daun cekur, to onions and potatoes and what-nots. I filled my allocated space up extremely quickly, until I had to either give away or cull plants.

I frequented local nurseries – especially World Farm – a lot in the past. I could spend so much on edibles such as rosemary, mint, thyme, majoram, oregano, and so on and so on. I recall dragging my partner to many hypermarts just to buy cuttings of herbs and attempt to grow them.

These days, my choices have become a lot narrower and more stringent: I grow plants which challenge me, which make me learn about them and about myself. I don’t look for plants which are tried and tested in the local conditions any longer. Of course, I do still have some of them, but my interest has strayed off. As long as the plant species and their requirements aren’t too different from the conditions I can try to provide, I will probably take on the challenge, especially if edibles are involved.

Of course, I’ve also gone into growing some easy species of nepenthes (after having tried out various carnivorous plants) and into some dwarf flower species.


Fertilizing
I used to stuff my gardening cupboard with lots and lots of different fertilizers, from hydroponic solutions to Phostrogen to fish emulsion to seaweed extract and so on. I’ve tried out the supposed “high brix” regime (although I don’t think I’d call it that if I had a better term for it) of feeding my plants fermented milk and high phosphorous fert and all that. I’ve rarely used organic stuff like animal poo (chicken or goat), and have never used compost.

After a lot of experiments, I actually find that I like things simple. I don’t chase after fertilizers in the market like some people do with technology. Not anymore, at least. I’ve sneakily made my own worm bin (and warned my dad not to open it, heh heh), and am happily using worm poo/worm tea along with Envizyme’s Gondwana fertilizer (good stuff) these days.

With just these two fertilizers, I’ve found at least a 90 to 95% decrease in pests like scales, red spider mites and mealy bugs on my plants, where there used to be A LOT of them…like hundreds and hundreds on each plant and I could never seem to get rid of them. Nowadays, I leave the odd pest I find alone, since the random ones don’t harm my plant, and a healthy plant can definitely stand up for itself easily.


Propagation and germination
I used to believe in using the simplest and easiest method to get my plant established. Most of the time, this entails using cuttings for propagation, since the plants I grew last time did less well via seeds than through vegetative propagation.

I like to grow stuff from seeds now, not just because I like the challenge of it, but also because I’ve somehow found that plants which are grown from seeds seem to acclimatize themselves more easily to different environments. It’s as if they take things more easily if they are shown no other environment beforehand.

Marcotting and air-layering were two methods I’ve never dared to try before my change of directions in beliefs. But I’ve tried both, and both have worked for me for various plants.

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I guess these are the few points I can think of for now. But even these few have reminded greatly of how much I’ve learned, just in one area of interest alone.

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